The MortgageBankers Association (MBA) lowered its forecast for mortgage originations in2014 by $57 billion to $1.12 trillion for the year, based on declining mortgageapplication activity and increasing interest rates. “Despite an economic outlook of steady growth and arecovering job market, mortgage applications have been decreasing – likely dueto a combination of rising rates and regulatory implementation, specificallythe new Qualified Mortgage Rule,” said Mike Fratantoni, the MBA’s ChiefEconomist. “As a result, we have lowered our expectations for both purchase andrefinance originations in the first half of 2014.” The MBA expects purchaseoriginations to be $677 billion for 2014, compared to $711 billion previouslyforecast. Compared to 2013, purchase originations are expected to increase by3.8 percent. Refinance originations are now expected to be $440 billion thisyear, compared to $463 billion estimated previously. The updated refinancetotal is around 60 percent lower than 2013 refinance originations.